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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Undervalued Commodities In The Marketplace

By David

Power hitting defensive catchers are few and far between in baseball. The list of outstanding back stoppers can be counted on one hand.

The Indians' Victor Martinez, the Yankees' Jorge Posada, the Red Sox' Jason Varitek, the Twins' Joe Mauer and the Tigers' Ivan Rodriguez are all former All -Stars who contribute substantially to their teams success and receive hefty pay checks.

Still, there are several catchers who make close to the league minimum and are playing well.

Brian McCann: The 23-year old is a fixture in the middle of the Braves lineup and one of the premier young players in baseball. An All=Star for the second time this season Brian is one of the top fantasy catchers in the league and has a career .988 fielding percentage. His success is frequently overshadowed due in part to the big name catchers who steal the headlines.

With a salary of $666,667 McCann is a bargain for Gm John Schuerholz.

Russell Martin: Voted in as an All-Star this year by the fans he is a multi dimensional player. The 24-year old brings speed, power, above average throwing accuracy, outstanding hitting ability and athleticism to Grady Little's lineup every night.

To put his agility into perspective, he has 16 stolen bases this season. The rest of the starting catchers in the National League have a combined 12 swiped bags. Additionally, his 61 runs knocked in are sixth best in the senior circuit and his .313 average places him in the top 15.

An .882 OPS(.382 OBP ans .500 SLG percentage) is extremely respectable for a catcher.

Russell's very fortunate to be playing in a big market city like L.A. because it enables him to receive the exposure that he deserves. Not only is he excellent with the bat, but he mans one of the better pitching staffs in the majors very well. In my opinion, he is the most undervalued catcher in MLB.

At $387,500, Martin is earning $7,500 over the league minimum.


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